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Tributes are paid as former Exning hotelier dies at 74

Tributes have been paid to a former Exning hotelier, who died on Friday.

Guy Pidsley, who took over The Rosery hotel in 1977 and ran it for 20 years, was 74 when he died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, three days after falling ill.

His daughter, Ellie Pidsley-Cooke, said: “While his death is our loss as a family, it is a shared loss because dad was so well known and so well loved.”

Guy Pidsley (59534696)
Guy Pidsley (59534696)

Born on Christmas Day in 1947, Mr Pidsley was the resident Father Christmas at the Elveden Estate.

“He always had Christmas decorations up in the window of our house in Church Street where he lived with us,” said Ellie, “because he wanted children to know that’s where Father Christmas lived.

“The Rosery had been a huge part of his life, he loved the role of ‘mine host’, because he was a larger than life character with many, many hats. He loved people and being with people,” she added.

Mr Pidsley was also well known in Exning for being the compere at the annual duck race event. “He would be there wearing one of his silly hats,” said Ellie, “but that was him, he just loved it.”

A keen rugby supporter, Mr Pidsley was president of Newmarket Rugby Club and, in his playing days, a former joint captain of its third team. He was also involved with Exning Football Club and was a keen motorcyclist who loved riding his motorbike and side car through the village and had recently completed a trip to John O’Groats.

He also owned a narrow boat, which he kept moored at Upware. “So many of the water community will miss him, too,” said Ellie, who praised the nursing staff at Addenbrooke’s for all the care they had given her father and the family. “They were absolutely marvellous as all this has been an incredible shock for us all,” she said.

Mr Pidsley is survived by his two daughters, Ellie and Jessica, and four grandchildren Dexter, Mackenzie, Albert and Roxie. Funeral arrangements have yet to be finalised.